Groups celebrating after winning cash to bring communities together

City organisations are celebrating after winning pots of money to bring communities together.

The first phase of successful organisations has now been announced, with more opportunities for community groups to bid in the coming months.

Peterborough City Council's Communities Fund was made possible thanks to the city being chosen as one of five Integrated Community areas across England and Wales in 2018. The £300,000 fund is just one element of Peterborough's integration strategy with a roll-out of more projects expected later this year.

The winning bids were selected by the Peterborough Together Partnership Board, which looked for applications which clearly demonstrated longevity and a commitment to bring the City’s many diverse and growing communities together:

  • Disability Peterborough - £19,971 for a project working with local community, faith groups and local champions to devise a programme of inclusive outreach exercise for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people with disabilities, their families and carers in three Peterborough wards - Central, Park and Ravensthorpe.
  • Basketball Club Vytis - £2,307.50 to support an eight month project - from September 2019 to April 2020 - to provide an indoor structured basketball programme for six to nine year olds from different backgrounds and with mixed abilities.
  • Art Pop-up - £8,122 to launch a 20th anniversary engagement project at the Langdyke nature reserve connecting diverse rural and urban community groups through art workshops and nature events/activities. The project aims to increase participation from all community groups at nature reserves across Peterborough.
  • Olive Branch Community Garden - £18,000 for an inclusive gardening project. The Olive Branch Community Garden is used to grow food for the local community of Dogsthorpe and is a place for locals to enjoy, learn to grow their own food and relax.  The funding will pay for a project and enterprise coordinator with the purpose of opening up the community space for the public and local groups, to host regular activities, events and workshops and enable regular opening times.
  • Bainton and Ashton Parish Council - £1,637.86 to bring together young and old residents to create a colourful spring bloom for all local people and walkers/cyclists.  The project will specifically seek to involve families with children, elderly residents at risk of isolation/loneliness and social housing residents not already involved in village activity. Plantings will be on show and a series of village open days will take place in spring 2020 to establish a wider community partnership and enable local people, invited groups and passing walkers/cyclists to enjoy some colour at a usually grey time of year.

Adrian Chapman, service director for communities at Peterborough City Council, who sits on the Peterborough Together Partnership Board, said: "When Peterborough was selected as one of five areas to pilot the government's Integrated Communities strategy, we were keen that our communities were involved in how the money was spent.

"Our city has a long and proud history of cohesion going back many generations. The Communities Fund gives groups a chance to win money to develop this even further in the future."

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: “I am really delighted to see that the first batch of funding is being used to support a variety of projects which will engage a real cross section of the community - young, old and from a number of nationalities, faiths, cultures and backgrounds. This is exactly what the funding was intended for and I look forward to seeing these projects develop and how they will benefit our residents.

“There is more money available if you would like to make an application. You may only need a few hundred pounds for some equipment or training or significantly more to develop something bigger. We’d like to support new projects - or ones ready to expand - that will bring people from all communities together and will make a lasting difference towards Peterborough becoming ever more integrated."

So far, £50,038 out of the total £300,000 has been allocated, meaning there is still almost £250,000 up for grabs.

The application process has now opened for the second phase of bidding. Applications are invited from organisations from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors.  Joint bids and ideas with longevity and innovations are particularly welcome.

Groups can bid for just a few hundred pounds, or a larger sum to develop something bigger. Groups can apply for up to £20,000. There is no lower limit.

It is a rolling programme so there is no deadline for applications. The panel meets every eight weeks to assess bids and will continue to do so for as long as there is money available.

Visit www.peterborough.gov.uk/communitiesfund to download an application form.

Workshop sessions have also been held, enabling community groups to meet other groups, share ideas, ask questions and develop their proposals. Future sessions will be advertised online in advance.

For those unable to attend the workshops, email, phone and one-to-one support is available.

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